Textile and clothing exports from Nicaragua are set to reach around US$2.5bn this year, due to higher investment and increased production in the free zones.

The forecast for the year would exceed last year's $2.2bn, according to preliminary figures from ProNicaragua, the country's investment promotion agency.

"We have significant investments in the country that will increase product exports," said Alvaro Baltodano, general presidential delegate for investments.

These investments, he said, include Grupo Karim spending $35m to reopen a former Cone Denim textile plant, which had temporarily closed due to the economic crisis of 2009.

The reopening of the facility will create 600 jobs initially, with production extending from spinning to finished fabric, with an annual capacity of 28m yards.

ProNicaragua said the country's overall exports, meanwhile, are expected to reach $5bn this year, up on $4.7m in 2013.